- Life threatening' floods and a NINE FOOT storm surge
- 78 flood warnings, 80 flood alerts and a further seven severe flood warnings in place across the UK
- Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes as British Army soldiers step in to help
- Road crashes and chaos as eight inches of snow falls
Britain is on weather alert with warnings of floods, wind, snow and ice covering large parts of the country.
In Essex, thousands of people are preparing to be evacuated in the village of Jaywick due to the threat of flooding.
The evacuation for Jaywick's 4,665 residents is scheduled to start at 7am, with police going door to door to inform them and ensure homes left unattended would be secure.
Essex Police Chief Inspector Russ Cole said:
"This decision has not been taken lightly and has been made in the best interests of all residents to ensure their safety until the severe weather passes."
The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for combinations of high winds, snow and ice.
The Environment Agency's seven severe flood warnings - which warn of a danger to life - are in place for Friday lunchtime in coastal areas of Essex and Suffolk in the face of gale-force winds and high tides.
Coastal communities in Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex have been told they should be prepared for large waves and possible flooding.
About 3,000 residents have been urged to leave their homes or move upstairs in Skegness on the Lincolnshire coast, while Suffolk Police said more than a thousand properties are likely to be evacuated because they are at risk of flooding. Some 5,200 metres of temporary barriers and 25 pumps have been moved to depots and towns, including Newcastle upon Tyne, Blythe, Great Yarmouth, Chelmsford, Rye and Trusthorpe and South Ferriby in Lincolnshire.
Mark Sitton-Kent, national duty manager at the Environment Agency, warned that "gale-force winds and high tides are likely to create large and dangerous waves along parts of the east coast on Friday and Saturday".
"These conditions could also cause flooding to coastal roads and could impact properties," he added. He urged residents not to put themselves at risk "by going to the coast for a thrill or to take pictures". Soldiers were deployed to help warn and evacuate people as snow and high winds hit large parts of the country on Thursday, disrupting travel and forcing schools to shut down.
And commuters might face more misery today if the bad weather affects, as feared, Tube and train services.
In Jaywick, near Clacton-on-Sea, a rest centre has been prepared for those being evacuated.
Nigel Brown, from Tendring District Council, told Sky News they are expecting people "in their hundreds" to arrive at the rest centre where there will be blow-up beds, sleeping bags and food.
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